Comment spam is an all-too-common problem for website owners. Spammers use comment forms to post unwanted content – often in the form of advertisements or links – to increase traffic to their websites. A client of mine recently had over 1,000 spam comments posted on one old post over a span of 7 days. Fortunately, several WordPress best practices can help you eliminate comment spam and keep your website clean.
Identifying Comment Spam
The first step in eliminating comment spam is to identify it. Comment spam is usually easy to identify since it often includes promotional links or unrelated content. Spammers typically post comments with no relevance to the subject, off-topic remarks, or even profanity. Other common signs of comment spam include excessive punctuation, poor grammar, and misspellings.
Another way to identify comment spam is to look for patterns. If you start to notice a large number of comments from the same individual or website, it is likely that the comments are spam. Similarly, if the comments are posted in quick succession, they may be part of an automated comment spam attack.
Blocking Spam with WordPress
Once you have identified comment spam, you can take steps to block it with WordPress. WordPress offers several tools that can help you block spam. First, you can use a plugin to filter out spammy comments. Several popular plugins, such as Akismet and Antispam Bee, can help you block spam automatically.
You can also use the WordPress comment settings to restrict comments. For example, you can choose only to allow comments from registered users or those with verified email addresses. You can also choose to close comments after a specified number of days. This can help reduce the amount of spam your website receives. Finally, you can set the maximum number of links allowed in each comment. This can help you block comments that contain a large number of spammy links.
Comment spam can be a nuisance for website owners, but with the right WordPress best practices, you can keep your website clean and spam-free. With the right plugins and settings, you can successfully block comment spam and keep your website safe and secure.